Tag Archives: Author: Delinda McCann

Betrayal by Delinda McCann

 sewer rat

“I still remember the day after the emperor set fire to my portion of the city as if it were yesterday” – Philippe Rouseff on the occasion of his ninetieth birthday.

 

I took my wife to Mass more to please her than from any desire of my own.  I watched as the priest lifted the loaf and intoned the words, “On the night in which he was betrayed…” Bile rose up in my throat at the words.  I knew betrayal.

The Emperor, one of my closest associates—a cousin even, had struck at the heart of my railroad operation in an effort to destroy my family business.  I pressed my lips together to stifle the urge to cry out in anger as the priest held up the cup.  When Christ was betrayed, only one man died.  I wondered how many thousands burned when I was betrayed.

As the faithful shuffled forward to take their bread and sip from the cup, I shifted in my seat and pondered why that bastard crime boss, Wu, a better man than my cousin, had sent his wife to my offices to warn one of the bookkeepers about the impending purge.  As the bookkeeper raced from the building, she screamed, “Fire! The army is coming! Fire! Flee!”  Who else had been warned that the emperor’s army marched against the city?  Who had time to flee?

I had no desire to spend a Sunday afternoon working, but at three in the afternoon, I met with two railroad supervisors to survey the damage to almost a square kilometer of the city.  We drove up to the deserted M’TK station.  Blowing ash shifted and settled after the passage of my car.  My stomach churned as I wondered how many of my employees’ ashes mixed and blew among the debris of burned buildings?

The brick and slate train station still huddled beside the tracks.  Soot now stained the red bricks the same black as the rest of the borough.  We stood and looked over the desolation—nothing moved, nothing lived.  I wanted to hope that some of my people survived, but hope refused to kindle here among the ruins.  The workers were only indigenous northerners, laborers, but they stocked my warehouses and loaded my trains.

The Central Region supervisor looked up. “What the hell?”

I followed his eyes and soon made out a string of boxcars, pulled by a gerry-rig, slowly rolling toward the station.  Filled with the horror that lay around me, I stared transfixed at the approaching apparition.  If I were a superstitious man, I’d have turned and fled in fear of death and ghosts.  I refused to take my eyes off of this small sign of life.

When the rig with it’s string of boxcars towering above it rolled to a stop at the station the operator, dressed in railroad coveralls, lifted a woman down from the first boxcar.  A young boy about ten jumped to the ground.  This family appeared to be like any other of the northern poor—dirty and ragged.

The man introduced himself as the assistant stationmaster.  He unlocked the station for us and assured us that he had locked the station’s ticket money in the safe.  He seemed respectful enough.  He kept his eyes lowered as custom dictated for a man of his station.

I heard the eagerness in my voice,  “Have you seen signs that some of my people survived?

“I haven’t seen anybody within a kilometer of the station.  Wu warned me so I had time to move the equipment.  I suppose others had time.”

I shook off my melancholy for a moment.  “Listen, you saved my equipment and the money in the station.  I must give you a reward.  What do you want?”

The man answered immediately.  “The stationmaster ran away when he heard about the army.  I stayed long enough to save your equipment.  Give me the stationmaster’s job and let me live here with my family.”  For the first time, the man looked me in the eye. The sharp intelligence I saw in the eyes of a northerner surprised me.  The man’s humility returned when he asked for help to assist his cousin from the train.

Curious about the new stationmaster, I helped lift his wheelchair-bound cousin from the boxcar.  I almost recoiled from the reek that still clung to the air inside the car.  I recognized the stench that is created when many unwashed bodies are packed close together.  I picked up a small piece of waste paper flecked with fish scales.  The evidence before my eyes and nose told me that many people, probably northerners with their love of fish, had very recently been packed into this car.  In my mind, I saw people filling the boxcars to flee from the fire.  I suspected that my new stationmaster had his own reasons for his secrecy, but the knowledge that my workers had survived settled into my heart.

I turned to the humble man beside me and forgot a lifetime of lessons about the indigenous people from the north.  I suddenly saw not a worthless, northern laborer but a man created in the image of God.  I saw the man who had saved my people, a man of honor and compassion.  I wondered if he thought of me as just an oppressive Southerner.

I reached out to shake the stationmaster’s hand, fearful for the first time in my life of being rejected…

 

Submitted by Delinda McCann

This story is told from a different perspective in the book M’TK Sewer Rat: End of an Empire. This is the first record of Mr. Rouseff’s side of the story of the day he met his longtime friend Jacob Jaconovich, then the assistant stationmaster.

 Delinda Mcann

Author Bio

Delinda McCann is a social psychologist who has worked in the field of developmental disabilities for over twenty years.  She has served on committees for the state of Washington and been an educational advisor to other governments. She has published four books Lies That Bind, M’TK Sewer Rat: End of an Empire, M”TK Sewer Rat: Birth of a Nation, and Something About Maudy.

 

Links

http://delindalmccann.weebly.com/index.html

A Statement of Outrage By Delinda McCann

 

 When we, Americans, talk of government officials we often call them leaders.  We speak of the leaders in industry and leaders in banking.  They are leaders, but in what directions are they leading our nation?  How have they cherished and protected the country our forefathers have passed into their keeping?  Where does our patriotic duty to respect our leaders end and the need speak out in outrage against the corruption of elected officials and the abandonment of just laws begin?

Do We The People have the right to live in a capitalistic economic system based on free markets?  Our big corporations, banks and Wall Street say no.  We have left capitalism behind for corporatism where the biggest corporations control the majority of the markets for food, household goods, energy, money and investments.  Is there a safe place where those who want to save for their retirement can place their money with the expectation of a return that will keep them ahead of inflation?  It appears that the banks and investment markets are so controlled by a few moneyed interests that the small investor is simply food for those who manipulate markets.  Is our government supposed to protect free markets by limiting monopolies, thuggish behavior and hostile business practices?  Is it the role of the government to protect the population from manipulative investment practices?  Big banks and Wall Street say no by buying influence to eliminate the regulations that once prevented monopolies, predatory lending, gambling by banks, and speculation in the stock market.  Why isn’t the current mode of operations called corruption?  Does loyalty to our country demand loyalty to a few big industries or should we speak out in outrage?

Do We The People have a right to be truthfully informed through our media?  Should we be loyal to the corporations who control most of our media?  Is that loyalty to our government?  What happened to ethical investigative journalism?  Recently I saw a documentary about the press in which our president made a speech.  The three major news channels showed about two minutes of the speech before they cut in with their news hosts commenting on what they thought the president would say, what he ought to say, and their understanding of what he was saying.  The public was not allowed to hear the speech on a major network.  Is that a free press?  Does corporate controlled media inform or does it manipulate through biased reporting?  Does this behavior demand our loyalty or should we speak out in outrage?

 Do We The People have a right to a safe, healthy food supply?  The Monsanto Company says no and they will fight tooth, nail and pocketbook to protect their right to feed unsuspecting people chemicals and altered food that may cause cancer, digestive problems, asthma, autism, obesity, and dementia.  For many years, Americans did have a safe and healthy food supply.  Many assume that this is true today.  Food safety has been eroded away to the point that agri-business together with Monsanto controls the regulatory processes that once protected our food supply.  They now propose regulations that target those with healthy farming practices to make selling their farm products challenging to impossible.  The latest such proposal is to declare that only chickens raised indoors are healthy.  This is the most insane example of backward thinking I can imagine.  Yet this is the backward direction our food industry is traveling.  Does loyalty to our country demand that we accept living with food related illness or should we speak out in outrage?

Do We The People have the right to access to safe drinking water?  Oh surely people in the United States have access to safe drinking water.  Neither of my daughters can drink the water that comes out of the tap in their homes because the water is contaminated.  One daughter lives in downtown Pasadena CA and the other lives on Vashon Island—neither of these communities is considered poor, yet they live with outdated water systems that nobody wants to keep up to date.  Many older communities face this problem.  Still, some areas face a greater problem.  Our governments don’t seem to be funding or issuing permits for updating aging water systems, yet officials choose to issue permits for fracking despite growing evidence that the chemicals and gasses used in the fracking industry do enter our water supply.  The solution we are given for compromised water systems is to add more chemicals to the water to try to make it cleaner.  It seems that nobody is minding the store when it comes to providing safe clean water to drink.  Is it time to speak out in outrage yet?

While I am loyal to the country my ancestors built, I consider loyalty to a government that is subservient to a very few special interests with money enough to bribe officials to be a betrayal of the country in which I grew up.  It is time for us as citizens to set aside petty differences and speak out in outrage at being betrayed by the system our ancestors built to protect us.

If you would like to know more about Delinda McCann visit her web site at:   http://delindalmccann.weebly.com/index.html